Puppies and Dogs For Sale in UK

The Scent Hound – Otterhound

The Otterhound, classified in the hound group, is a breed well known for its webbed feet, rough double coat, and its skills in both water and land hunting.

A brief history of the Otterhound

OtterhoundThe exact history of the Otterhound is unknown. It is unknown what breeds the modern hound has in its ancestral history, although it is likely that they have various hounds, especially those which excel at water hunting, in their breed ancestry. The first known examples of a breed which resembles the modern Otterhound occurred in the early 19th century, with dogs such as the Hawkstone Otter Hunt dog and the Squire Lomax Otterhounds. In the late 19th and early 20th century, breeds such as the Griffon Nivernais and Grand Griffon Vendeens were crossed with the Otterhounds, which resulted in many dogs that a number of modern Otterhounds can claim as ancestors.


The Otterhound is a medium to large sized dog, which typically reaches anywhere from 24 to 27 inches in height at the shoulders; male Otterhounds typically weigh between 95 and 111 lbs., while the female Otterhounds, which are smaller than their male counterparts, generally only weigh between 65 and 90 lbs. The breed is well known for its unique coat, which is long, thick, and rough. They have a strong muscular body combined with a lean, striding step which makes them able to maintain high energy for longer periods of time, such as during hunts. They have webbed feet which makes them excel at swimming and running in the water. In addition to the strength, they are known to be inquisitive due to their sensitive noses, which can pick up scents that other dogs would be unable to notice.

Personality wise, the Otterhound is known to be moderately tempered but energetic. Although they can be good family companions, they are not recommended for elderly owners or homes with very young children. Like many bigger dog breeds, they require daily exercise, which should be supervised due to the breed’s tendency to investigate scents. It should be noted that because the Otterhound was almost exclusively selectively bred for hunting abilities rather than companionship, owners looking for a companion dog should seek out an Otterhound from one of the bloodlines which were bred for a companion-type temperament.

The Otterhound has a unique history as a hunting dog bred specifically to hunt otters, which used to be a popular choice for hunters leaving near watery areas. However, declining otter numbers in the United Kingdom caused otter hunting to be banned and the usefulness of the Otterhound to rapidly decline. By 1978, only nine registered packs of Otterhounds remained in existence. As of 2011, there were only around 1000 Otterhounds in the world, with only 15 new Otterhound registrations occurred in 2011.

Did you know? Trivia

  • The first Otterhound exhibited in America was shown in Claremont, Oklahoma in 1907.
  • The acclaimed British novel, Tarka the Otter, featured an Otterhound as a villain to the titular otter character of Tarka.